Before all the scrutiny over executive pay and accompanying perks, we used to have it pretty good here at Gay List Daily. But now in the era of government bailouts and corporate downsizing, things have drastically changed.
Our pink helicopter was auctioned off in March and now we have to take the bus the same three-and-a-half blocks from home to work. The weekly visits from Nurse John to check us for crotch critters are now only offered once per quarter (and for a $50 co-pay)!
But perhaps the perk we’ll miss the most is having lunch flown in from our favorite restaurants in Spain, India and Greece. Sure, it wasn’t always piping hot, but it was authentic, baby.
But slowly, we’re learning to live with this concept of “cutting back” (and we always use exaggerated air quotes when uttering that disgusting phrase). Surprisingly, with the arrival of a new lunch menu at Samar by Stephan Pyles, we’re surviving quite nicely.
We’ve been fans of Samar since it opened, but the new menu gives us the ability to sample several dishes for one low price. It’s like the variety of a buffet without all the grimy little children and fat people pawing at the grub. Instead, you pick your favorite tapas-size dishes from the three diverse sections of the menu: Spain, India and Eastern Mediterranean. Pick one plate for $5, two for $9, three for $13 or four for $17.
It’s a great way to enjoy all our favorite dishes, even if they aren’t arriving to our forks via first-class seats on American. Here are our fab four:
Patatas & Chorizo con Huevo Orgánico, which is a delicious dish of potatoes and chorizo (not the greasy taqueria kind, either), all topped with an expertly fried organic egg. The surprise? A large morsel of seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras. It’s rich and decadent, but rustic at the same time (just like that gay lumberjack we dated for a while).
From the Eastern Mediterranean section, you absolutely can’t go wrong with the Hommus, Moutabal, and Labne, three savory, garlicky, lick-the-bowl-clean spreads served alongside some of the best Naan we’ve ever eaten. If it weren’t for all the cutbacks we’ve been mentioning, we’d commission Christian Siriano to tailor a three-piece suit out of this Naan so we could smell its toasty goodness all day long, and have a great snack at the ready.
Also from the Med side of things, our all-time favorite is the Lahmaçun, which is a Turkish Spiced Lamb “Pizza.” And they put “pizza” in quotes for good reason. It’s really just ground lamb inside a warm flatbread. But it’s so much more complex than it sounds. The flavors are spot-on and deeply satisfying. A mild yogurt sauce accompanies the hand-held delight, providing just the right amount of creamy goodness to counter the power of the lamb.
Moving on to India, if you like things spicy (and we mean spicy with a capital Holy Sh!t), the Masale Wali Poha ke saath Gosht ka Curry (or MWPksGkC for short) is a hearty bowl of curried lamb in a dark and treacherous sauce that will ensure you get your daily required eight glasses of water. But it’s a good kind of hot that you’ll crave for hours after the last drop has been sopped up with your fingers Naan.
And if you just happen to save room for dessert, the Turkish Coffee Pot de Crème is wonderful, but we truly fancy the Chocolate Samosa with Candied Rose Petal Sauce. It’s all the crispy crunch of a savory samosa, but filled with a deep, rich chocolate sauce that pours out like a luxurious lava that we’d swim in if they could make enough to fill our Jacuzzi.
Best of all, service at lunch is speedy and attentive. Because if you’re like us, our lunch break has been cut back from four hours to a measly two-and-a-half. Thankfully, Samar is here to make our downsizing palatable (in every sense of the word).
Lunch menu served Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
2100 Ross Avenue (at Olive Street), Dallas